Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Power of Flow State and How to Access It

In neuroscience, the concept of ‘flow’ is currently a popular topic in the field.

Flow describes a specific mental state that allows us to focus intensely on a single task or subject matter. In this state, time will actually appear to dilate and slow around us, giving us more time to react and improving our performance significantly. At the same time, we become faster at solving problems and reacting and we can completely block out all distracting thoughts and temptations.

So, what is this ‘flow’ exactly and how does it come about?

Flow Explained

Flow is a state of deep absorption or concentration where individuals are able to function at their optimal capacity and tackle challenging endeavors with ease.

Flow can also be defined as a certain mental state in much the same way that the ‘fight or flight’ puts us into a particular state of mind. In fact, a flow state is very similar to the fight or flight response with the primary difference being that fight or flight makes us more panicked and distracted whereas flow is slightly calmer and more positive.

Both states though are triggered by a sense of danger and importance. When the body detects that it is in danger, or working toward a highly important goal, then it will produce chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins, anandamide, serotonin, and cortisol. These increase the heart rate, contract the muscles, and generally make us more highly alert and ready for high-performance action.

The difference between normal action and an extra-ordinary action is that a flow state at extra-ordinary action produces serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and anandamide (the ‘bliss’ hormone). This makes the sensation far more euphoric and also makes us more creatively inclined. In other words: this is danger/importance with enjoyment and excitement.

Common ‘triggers’ of flow states include surfing, snowboarding, hight-stake sports, and sitting for examination when you've covered the subject thoroughly. This is any moment when you have lost track of time and what you are and instead begun to move purely through space without distraction.

This can also happen when you’re performing in a band and you become ‘one with the music’. Or when you’re engaged in fascinating discussion and you lose all track of time.

Or to put it into another perspective: take for the example the door with a number lock. To open that door, it is not enough to know the digits associated with that door, but you must know exactly the sequence they were configured or set. That is where the correct number "flow" becomes the key to the door. Your action to the task at hand comes naturally and in the right way as if you're connected or tapping from the river of cosmic powers. 

“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink. 
For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 
John 7:38, NLT.

How to Access the state of Flow

So how do you access this incredible mental state and find your flow? The answer is that it requires you to focus 100% on what you’re doing by building up its importance in your mind. Using meditation can help you to generally improve your focus while practicing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can teach you to change the way you feel about different activities.

The sunlight, when converged by the convex lens to the point known as a focus, can cause sparks that lead to the flames of fire. Therefore, your 100% concentration and focus on a single task acts in the same way as your whole inner power is converged to that task, just like a convex lens does to the sunlight. 

Ultimately though, you have to seriously remind yourself that: what you’re doing is more important and you should fully engage at that moment. Only then can you tap into your flow!

"All praise to God, the  Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms

 because we are united with Christ." 

Ephesians 1:3, NLT.

The following video provides an expert analysis from the world's leading expert in Ultimate Human Performance, Steven Kotler, the author of the book: Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. Here he makes a presentation of what is the state of flow in a nutshell.



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​​Text Wisdom's mission is to provide an entertaining but faithful and objective exploration of the wisdom behind some popular text speeches like: "Less is more", or "Wisdom is better than strength" and "The pen is mightier than the sword" and so forth. We've committed ourselves to do that so that the readers of our site can appreciate and learn why they should become wise and be transformed to live their lives in all fullness. We strongly believe that wisdom, once gained, can help anyone attain any level of success in any situation. In an actual sense, we strive to live up to the Golden Rule that says: Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Similarly, the idea of what we try to accomplish is well-expressed in this biblical quote: “Be instructed, whatever be the cost, and you’ll gain what is better than gold.” Sirach 51:28, (New Community Bible). LM Edward is a university graduate with a keen interest in working hard to finding out a universal step-by-step method, if any, on how to become wise, and then share those findings to our curious worldwide visitors.

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